Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

TV Interview

Dave Lamb ('Come Dine With Me')

By
Dave Lamb ('Come Dine With Me')
A true gem in Channel 4's daytime schedule, cookery show Come Dine With Me is finally back with a new series later this month. Hurrah! Once again more amateur chefs will compete against each other to prove that they are the perfect dinner party host and claim a £1,000 cash prize. Also back is resident voiceover man Dave Lamb, overseeing proceedings with his witty observations and sarcastic commentary. We gave Dave a call to find out more about the show's enduring popularity.

Did you ever expect Come Dine With Me to be so popular?
"When I first started doing it, I went along just thinking 'this is a job to fill the time', but I quickly realised it was a lot of fun to do the voicing for. In fact I kept missing my cues because I was watching the programme! Ultimately then, I suppose I'm not really surprised that it took off because it's really watchable, to the point where it's almost addictive."

Do you write the voiceover yourself and do you do much ad-libbing around that?
"I don't write it myself. They cut it down to the final edit first, so I basically watch the programme and they've left gaps for me read from the script. I ad-lib around it as well, but less so now. In the early days I ad-libbed quite a lot, which is what helped everybody to find the character of the narrator. Now everybody kind of writes for that narrator, so there's not as much need to do the improvising."

Have you ever got carried away into a rant?
"There's a lot of extremely unusable filth. When I do the voiceover I try to feel as if I'm sitting around with people watching it, so sometimes I let myself go! We were thinking of doing a rude version for late night internet broadcast, but we haven't got round to doing that yet."

Would only the voiceover be rude, or would the contestants have to find rude ways of serving their meals too?
"I don't know! Actually, I hadn't thought about that. That's a whole new level. That might be an even more of a good idea. We've thought of doing a Derek and Clive version, recorded at midnight after a couple of beers."

Have you ever considered being a contestant on the show?
"God no. I'm an absolute arse at cooking, I can't cook to save my life. My wife's a chef so sometimes I phone her from the booth for pronunciation checks. But me doing the show would be absolutely terrible. I don't know why people put themselves through it to be honest, 'cos it's harrowing enough to throw a dinner party without having a camera crew there."

Have the producers ever approached you to take part in the celebrity edition?
"I know the word 'celebrity' can be stretched quite a long way these days, but I don't think it can be stretched quite that far."

But if you did do it, you could do the voiceover live!
"Haha! That would be vaguely horrific. I wouldn't like to have to take the piss out of myself. That would be appalling."

Do you get recognised a lot because of your voice? Talking to you now, your voice seems different.
"That's what people say. I think the voiceover has got more extreme as the show has gone on. It's more enthusiastic and there's more energy in it now."

Are there any other shows you would like to do voiceover for?
"I've not really thought about that. I'm really happy doing Come Dine With Me, to be honest, because it's good fun. Before Gillian McKeith started doing her own voiceover on You Are What You Eat, which was a massive mistake, there was a very funny bloke on there. I'd like to have had a crack at that. It's being funny without being too cruel. I like the more gentle, poking fun angle."

On our forums there was a suggestion that you should replace Terry Wogan on Eurovision.
"Hahaha! Well, that would be stepping into the shoes of the master, wouldn't it? The Eurovision Song Contest has just become ludicrous, really. You've got to have some hope of a genuine competition to make it worth it. I think I'd get too angry. Actually I think I'd be absolutely furious."

That could work, though.
"Sitting in a booth with a bottle of whiskey and getting angry about the Eurovision Song Contest? Sounds like good fun to me."

Come Dine With Me returns to Channel 4 weekdays at 5.30pm from August 25.

You May Like

More: TV, Dave Lamb